Located within the stunning and lush mountains of Palawan’s main island, El Nido has been rated one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines. Forget crowded resorts in tourist cities, and escape to tranquil and awe-inspiring El Nido instead. With 45 islands and islets that harbor some of the country’s best white sand beaches, hidden lagoons, picturesque cliffs and rich marine life underneath its Earth, El Nido is indeed a piece of paradise. El Nido Palawan can be explored on a budget. With plenty of budget accommodations lined up on the streets of the town and lots of tour groups offering cheap packages, El Nido is another backpacker’s haven.
Why You Should visit El Nido Palawan Philippines
What makes El Nido so great is its natural beauty and the fact that it is largely untouched. A protected area, the beauty of the area is visible the moment you arrive. It is definitely one of the hidden gems of Southeast Asia! Large limestone cliffs tower above you, a fact I did not fully realise until late on our first night when I glanced out the window and saw what looked like a massive wall in the distance. Even at night and only partially visible it was an incredible sight.
El Nido Weather (When to Visit)
El Nido is best seen during the months of November to May. In the first half of this period, cool northeast winds complement the sunny skies, allowing you to explore the islands in comfort. As the summer months of March and May set in, the heat turns up as well; bring enough sunscreen to protect yourself. All throughout these months (El Nido’s high tourist season), the sea is relatively calm, and underwater visibility is good, about ten to thirty feet. The southwest monsoon from June to November brings the rainy season and reduced travel traffic. While prices for all resorts and facilities are lower during the rainy season, the weather is less cooperative: seas are choppy and the unpaved roads become muddier and more difficult to travel on.
Best El Nido Beaches
Nacpan Beach is a 4-km strip of powdery paradise north of El Nido town proper. The coconut lined beach faces a small cove next to Base Bay. The stretch runs southward to meet its twin — Calitang Beach. Together, they form a cape that sticks out to the sea that can get rough without warning. A small, palm crowned, grass-covered hill marks the spot where the two ivory beaches meet. Small islands dotting the bay can also be seen clearly from the beach.
Dolarog Beach is a secluded paradise with an outstanding view of the limestone islands of the Bacuit Archipelago. Famous for its breath-taking sunsets, Dolarog Beach is the ideal place for those who wish nothing more than to relax and spend their time laying on a hammock and enjoying the view of the sea. Dolarog Beach is also suitable for families with small children because the sea in the area is very shallow.
Seven Commandos Beach
It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in El Nido, thanks to its crystal-clear waters, and its unique limestone rock formations. From afar, you can immediately notice Seven Commando Beach’s white sand and the coconut trees lined along it that are swaying along with every blow of the wind. On the beach, there is a tiny store that serves snacks, halo-halo, beer and fresh coconut.
Marimegmeg Beach or Las Cabanas Beach
It is mostly known for having creamy white sand along with the fact that it is fringed with coconut palm trees. Compared to Nacpan, it is more developed with a line of resorts and other kinds of establishments that can be found along the beach. However, despite being developed, Las Cabans Beach still remain clean and much quieter than the beach in El Nido town.
This remote beach in El Nido, might not be the easiest attraction to get to, but visiting this huge uninhabited paradise-on-Earth beach is, undoubtedly, a great experience. The secluded Duli Beach has white sands with palm trees on it. Its clear waters roll onto the stretch of sandy beach. Duli whose name means ‘female turtle” is a nesting place for sea turtles in the area. Duli Beach is s ‘surfer’s paradise’ especially during the rainy season when there are a lot of big waves.
El Nido Palawan Tours & Activities
Full Day Premium Catamaran Island Group Tour D
Hop on board, meet new friends, and discover marine treasures under the crystal-clear blue waters and the secret lagoons behind those towering limestone cliffs – aboard The Seacret, our 50ft sailing catamaran. Learn more about the Full Day Premiumm Catamaran Island Group Tour D.
Full Day Highlights of El Nido Speedboat Island Group Tour C
Explore El Nido and island hop Tour C without the crowds
-Hangout on beach and have a sumptuous freshly prepared lunch – in ENYC’s –PRIVATE ISLAND -Go swimming and snorkeling in the pristine blue waters. Learn more about the Full Day Highlights of El Nido Speedboat Island Group Tour C.
El Nido Island Hopping Tour B: Caves and Coves with Buffet Lunch
Discover hidden beaches and secret lagoons that are only accessible by boat on an island hopping tour of El Nido. Enjoy swimming, snorkeling, and sightseeing, and relish the convenience of hotel pickup and drop-off. Plus, the rising popularity of Palawan as a vacation destination means that El Nido boat tours sell out fast, so avoid disappointment by booking in advance. Learn more about the El Nido Island Hopping Tour B.
Private El Nido Tour A Island Hopping
El Nido, Palawan is known for its amazing landscapes and crystal-white beaches. El Nido Tour A Island Hopping is just one-day tour offering a varied destinations famous at the town. Learn more about the Private El Nido Tour A Island Hopping.
Full Day El Nido Island Frontier Group Tour B
Set out to Sea…and Frontier into the lesser-known side of El Nido, away from the tourist crowds. Explore virgin islands, set foot on the jungle isles of Pinagbuyutan Island, and have the day’s freshest catch on board before casting away into another adventure. Learn more about the Full Day El Nido Island Frontier Group Tour B.
Island Hopping Tour C
A beautiful tour with very nice snorkel spots, hidden beaches and a beautiful scenery. You have a very good chance to see one of the 3 species of turtle of El Nido. Learn more about the Island Hopping Tour C.
Best El Nido Restaurants
Trattoria Altrove $11 – 30
This upstairs Slovenian–owned place does the best pizza in El Nido, made with imported mozzarella in the street-level brick oven. There are a dozen types of pasta from Italy, plus T-bone steak and other meat dishes on the menu. It’s very popular, so get here early (or late) during the high season to avoid a long wait. Telephone: +63 917 822 9871 Web: Trattoria Altrove.
El Nido Boutique & Art Café $11 – 30
The large 2nd-story dining room is a warm and relaxed place to eat, drink and get your bearings. Especially good are the salads (using lettuce and arugula from its own organic farm), home-made bread, seafood curry, pizza, pineapple upside-down cake, and chocolate and mango tarts. It has a bar and live music four nights a week. Telephone: +63 920 902 6317 Web: El Nido Boutique & Art Cafe.
Best El Nido Bars
Sava Beach Bar
A contemporary cocktail bar/club worthy of El Nido’s status as a rising international starlet. Cocktails are expertly made with top-notch booze, and the bar menu features some of the best food in town. Try the chimichanga or baked mussels. Top DJs set the beachfront dance floor alight as the evening wears on. Telephone: +63 928 694 6743 Web: Sava Beach Bar.
Happiness Beach Bar
The cool kid on El Nido’s main drag, diminutive Happiness features contemporary beats, top-class cocktails and hipster swings at the street-side bar. By day its vegan-friendly Middle Eastern menu (mains P200 to P350), with delicious hummus and other small plates as well as pita sandwiches, draws healthy eaters. Telephone: +63 905 216 7363 Web: Happiness Beach Bar.
Quite simply the best sunset bar. It has dangerous mojitos, groovy tunes and two-for-one San Miguel during happy hour (3pm to 5pm), plus superb pizza and fresh-baked bread. But most importantly it has that elusive sunset view, unlike many places in El Nido. Telephone: +63 905 364 8534 Web: Bella Vita.
The Beach Shack
The ubercool beach bar that makes Maremegmeg Beach (aka Las Cabanas Beach) tick. In the high season it assumes a Miami Beach vibe around sunset as it turns up the tunes and the pretty people flock to it. Telephone: +63 917 577 7513 Web: The Beach Shack.
Long the most happening place in El Nido, this reggae bar suddenly has a lot more competition and has responded by expanding. It now has two entrances – one on Hama St, one on the beach. Live reggae music and buckets of beer are what make it tick. Telephone: +63 955 956 8178 Web: Pukka Bar.
Best El Nido Hotels
With only seven rooms situated between a pristine beach and virgin forest in an undiscovered and unexploited part of North-eastern Palawan, Qi Palawan offers a unique experience. As the only development in the immediate area, you can enjoy your own beach or explore the many nearby un-populated beaches…or if you like, venture into one of local fishing communities. This is the place to really get away and experience the real Palawan.
El Nido Resorts Lagen Island
Lagen Island has a total of 51 rooms that incorporate timber recycled from old Filipino homes for floors and furnishings to evoke charm and quiet luxury. Designed for maximum tranquility and calm, all rooms feature full-height sliding glass doors that open to a private veranda. There are 20 Forest Rooms located at the fringe of the forest; 4 Forest Suites are located at the upper level of the Forest Room Complex. There are 18 Water Cottages built on stilts above the water, and nine Beachfront Cottages with a panoramic view of the cove.
Cauayan Island Resort
Set amid lush greenery, Cauayan Island Resort offers luxurious and peaceful accommodations in El Nido. The resort features an outdoor infinity pool, a well-equipped fitness center and a restaurant on site. Guests can enjoy island-hopping or kayaking around the islands of El Nido. Diving activities at 15 different dove sites can be arranged at the Cauayan Diving Center. Guests may also rejuvenate with a pampering massage at Cauayan Spa. Local and international cuisines are served at Cauayan Restaurant.
El Nido Resorts Pangulasian Island
Pangulasian Island has 42 deluxe accommodations built in contemporary Filipino architecture. There are eight Canopy Villas perched on stilts above the forest, and 24 Beach Villas and six Pool Villas close to the water. Each villa has a floor area of 65 sqm plus a 15 sqm private balcony, and can accommodate up to three persons. Villa features and amenities include Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, iPod dock, mini-bar, and coffee and tea- making facilities.
El Nido Resorts Miniloc Island
Miniloc Island is a rustic and charming hideaway reminiscent of a coastal village. Miniloc Island is located in El Nido, in northwestern Palawan. It takes a 75-minute direct flight from Manila to get to El Nido or a 6-hour travel by land from Puerto Princesa City (Palawan’s Capital City).Miniloc Island Resort is tucked within a beautiful cove surrounded by towering limestone cliffs and a vibrant coral reef. It is a gateway to popular activity sites in a breath-taking location known for its high biodiversity. The resort has 50 cottages and rooms built in traditional Filipino design over the water, beside the beach, or surrounded by garden and limestone cliffs.
Nacpan Beach Glamping
Nacpan Glamping is located on one of the top rated beaches in Asia, ‘Nacpan Beach’, El Nido, Palawan. Stretching 4.2km, this white sand beach is fast becoming a World renowned must see destination in the Philippines. Nacpan Glamping offers the unique, one and only experience of staying in a state of the art 6m wide glamping tent metres from the beach.